COMPANY AGM REPORTS

 

CLUB NIGHTS – Coming soon for 2017

 

Watch this space.

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The 2017 AGM REPORT - reporting on the shows of 2016

Welcome.

 We began with When Dad Married Fury, directed by Max Golding.  It was good to have Max directing for Company Theatre after many years associated with us as an actor and active member. He was assisted by his wife Sue, who also has a long association with Company Theatre and The Rose Centre as well.   Our audiences loved this production and it was well attended.   We’ve presented quite a few David Williamson plays over the years, and his ability to touch on themes of our times, along with a local Aussie/Kiwi feel, has been popular. Congratulations to Max for choosing it - and to the cast and crew who made it happen.

  Our second play was ALL MY SONS by Arthur Miller directed by Sian Davis. (First - our wishes to Sian as she recovers from surgery. We wish her a speedy recovery and hope she is back directing soon.) 

  During ALL MY SONS we received several emails on the quality of this production.  When first discussed there was a tiny bit of doubt as to whether we could pull it off.  It needed a top-class group of actors to bring to life this classic drama – and wow, Sian found them.  Thank goodness for directors’ little black books - as open auditions do not always turn up what’s needed these days.  (It’s a story that is heard around many Auckland amateur theatre societies) . Our policy at Company Theatre is an open audition platform, but this year’s directors have had to dig deep to find the cast they needed.   At the end of ALL MY SONS you could hear a pin drop - during the last emotional scenes.  This is one of the world’s top plays and we were proud to have this classic in our repertoire.   Congratulations to the cast and crew, and especially to Sian who believed in it.

 Our final play was One Man Two Guvnors that also needs superlatives. A  cast and crew of almost 40 people, and hats off once again, to Kathy Gent, our resident, regular director for co ordinating such a challenging production. There was a lively, vibe from the beginning of rehearsals as all those involved thoroughly enjoyed themselves.  The band playing before the show, really set the scene. Such talented musicians. Congratulations again to Kathy,  for sourcing them – it was no easy task!  The Rose Centre was rocking and rolling and it was the perfect ending to a successful year. 

  In my last AGM report, I’ve made a mention of key Company BACKSTAGE volunteers who have made a difference to our productions during the year.  It’s a pleasure and no surprise that some of the names are consistent year after year.  I would like to record once more, the contribution of Fred and Doreen Gould, Scott Thomas, Sam Mence, Stephen Hood, Cathie Sandy, Tony Sandy, Barbara Farron, Anne Rimmer, Gail Carran, and Caroline Parker – mostly known as the “old gang”!  But we also have Kay Williams, Kate and Ian Birch and Lesley Hawkey who have now completed several years with consistent input…and I’d also like to mention those who magically reappear when needed…Sheila Stevens, Nadine Hayden, Penny Clark and Ron Reichs. 

 Some special thanks as usual to Paddy Stafford-Bush for her support to Company in the wider community, and the behind scenes work she does as the Patron of The Rose to get us the best facility we possibly can.

 Thank you to Raewyn Nevin and The Rose Centre Management Committee and especially Manager Kath Hair who sadly is leaving us this year. We will miss her most generous and enthusiastic contribution to Company Theatre.  

And now to the 2016 Committee.  This year, like 2015, we started bigger and lost some along the way, and co-opted others.  Ian and Kate Birch resigned in May and were very much missed – but are still very much part of Company Theatre in other ways than committee. In June, we fare welled Steven Arnold as Treasurer.  

 To fill these vacancies, we co-opted Ruth Flynn to the role of Treasurer and I would like to thank her very much for filling the role until this AGM.  We also co-opted Kay Williams, who I have already mentioned above, but now thank for her contribution to the committee of 2016. (And also for her excellent, improvisation workshops.  We hope there might be more in 2017.)

To the rest of the hard-working committee, - Linda Camplin, Kathy Gent, Alastair Fletcher and Ruth Chapman I thank you all for your support and contributions. You have all been involved in every production this year.  But thank goodness for the wonderful member support we get outside of committee as well. We are lucky that there are many people offering to help when called on.

  So, dear friends of Company Theatre.  As I say each year, - we are all just volunteers looking to enjoy a passion. Be kind and supportive of each other as far as you can. It has been a pleasure to be your President this last year. Onwards and upwards for this great theatrical society.   Sherry Ede 

 

The 2016 AGM REPORT - reporting on the shows of 2015

Welcome all.  The year 2015 began with Peace Plays, directed by Steven Arnold.  This was a special inclusion for our 2015 programme after other options didn’t eventuate and Steven volunteered to put a production concept together. Committee agreed that the two plays – Hautu and Charlie Bloom - were especially appropriate in the year 2015, marking 100 years since Gallipoli. The subject of war and peace was on people’s minds and in the media. Peace Plays was also an opportunity to present the premiere of two New Zealand plays and we look to support New Zealand authors wherever we can. 

During the rehearsal period there was close cooperation with the author Kathleen Gallagher, the director, and the cast, resulting in changes and development of the script. On opening night, the author flew up from Christchurch and was warmly welcomed with a both a Pakeha and a Maori greeting, and the usual wonderful buzz around an opening night.   There was much positive feedback, especially on the direction and quality of the acting.  Company as usual, produced an excellent production. 

As an extra option, and to discuss some of the emotional and confronting themes, Steven proposed that each night the audience would be invited to stay back after the performance for a question and answer session with the cast. One evening a former prisoner from Hautu attended the performance.  Steven also organised a striking display of paintings in the foyer, and a table of books that complemented the content of the plays.  

With very low bookings, we decided for the first time in Company history, to cancel a couple of nights. The cast and crew were understanding and adaptable. Their belief in this production was very evident.  They gave many, extra hours of their time to film it for the author’s private use.  A copy of the film has been donated to Company Theatre archives. Congratulations to Steven, the actors and to all involved.  

Our second production was Hay Fever, directed by Julian Harrison.  This was Julian’s first production for Company. We made a decision on committee in 2014 to actively seek new directors for the society to broaden our catchment, and were delighted when Julian agreed to “come over the bridge” and direct for us. 

Julian is an experienced and popular director in South Auckland, who also teaches drama classes.  Many commented that they thoroughly enjoyed his enthusiasm, fresh, direct approach and clear vision. Hay Fever, a light hearted comedy, by a well-known author, appealed to a broad range of theatre goers.  The story of the self centred, self-obsessed Bliss family and their unusual guests was entertainment for a mid-winter’s evening.  

Thank you to Julian, to the cast and crew and a special thanks to the eye of Cathie Sandy who added extra class and distinction to the overall look of the show. 

Our final show for the year, Don’t Dress for Dinner, directed by Elena Stejco – also brought a new director. Elena’s theatre background is international, having worked professionally in film, television and stage for over 25 years.  Elena, also a drama teacher, presented a workshop on The Chekhov Acting Technique for us in July that received excellent feedback.

In Don’t Dress for Dinner Elena extended the comedy elements with the addition of dance and music.  This play was originally a French farce, that was translated into English, and Elena gave it a touch of Russian style, and transferred it to a farm house in the Waikato –  and it all worked extremely well!  The audiences loved it and it was our highest grossing production of the year. 

I would like to record the names of our backstage helpers for 2015 who are  EXTRA to the committee.   Some of these names appear regularly in our reports.   

For properties, Fred and Doreen Gould, for lighting, Scott Thomas, Sam Mence and Stephen Hood, for Stage Managing, Liz Gill, Jan Judson, and newcomers Michelle Smith and Kay Williams.  For set construction Phil Davis, Nigel Adler, and Russell Simpson. For costumes Cathie Sandy (who was still as valuable for Company in 2015 as she was in 1986 or thereabouts). There was regular show-night help from Barbara Farron.  Caroline Parker and Tony Sandy are still our Number 1 team for set painting and Lesley Hawkey has now completed her second year for FOH Manager assistance.   

A special thanks to Paddy Stafford-Bush for her continual support of Company Theatre in the wider community and at our galas and fundraising evenings. And thank you to The Rose Centre Management Committee and especially Kath Hair who does so much to help the smooth running of our productions in The Rose.

And now to acknowledge the 2015 Committee – we started with 9 members, and then Ruth Flynn was co-opted in April to bring us to our full quota of 10.  Like any group, we are diverse, but we all have in common a passion for theatre. 

This year, we decided to give everybody a specific “role” and “title” – in addition to helping on the productions wherever they could.  We also formed separate working groups as there is often too much to get through in a monthly committee meeting.  

An important area is publicity. This team is Ruth Flynn, Ian and Kate Birch (the leader), myself and Kathy Gent.  With the help of the new people, we have upgraded our newsletter, upgraded our mail outs, increased our presence in social media and undertaken audience surveys.  

Another working group, led by Kathy Gent, is responsible for selecting future production choices. These choices have to be ratified by a full committee, before going ahead.   A special thank you to Kathy, who can’t be here tonight, for all that she contributes in this and many other areas of the society.  

Thank you to Linda Camplin, who is our Minute Secretary, but has the extra title of “Props Support”, which means she is there for Fred and Doreen, as one day, in the far future, they say they might want to retire!  Linda has also stage managed this past year.

Steven Arnold’s extra is to be our treasurer and this main role takes a lot of time, but is getting easier with our accounts now running on Xero.  

Ruth Chapman’s extra is “Wardrobe Support” and she really does try to sort it into some kind of order from time to time!   Ruth and Steven are also Company’s representatives on The Rose Centre Board, which means an extra meeting for them to attend as well. 

Alastair is our “Bar Man and Tool Man” because apart from locking up the bar supplies, he has to keep the Tool Cupboard under lock and key so they don’t wander either! 

Ian is also “Set Construction Manager” which involves much extra work for our sets.

And Graeme is “Environmental Manager” especially useful after set pack outs when things are discarded out the back door and need removing. 

All in all we have some fun times amidst all the meetings and sometimes lengthy discussions. My philosophy is to try and be understanding of each other, and to remember we are just volunteers looking to enjoy a passion.  It does take many hours of work to achieve our great productions together. We have a lot to be proud of and to maintain. 

It has been a pleasure to be your President this last year.  I try to keep records of our history, and these Annual reports, if perhaps a bit lengthy at times -  play their part!   Congratulations and onwards to 2016.   Sherry Ede (Company Theatre President 2015) 

 

The 2015 AGM - reporting on the shows of 2014

The 2015 Annual General Meeting for Company Theatre was held on Wed 25th February at 7.30pm in the Company Room

President's Report on the Productions of 2014

Welcome all. The year began with An Ideal Husband, directed Steven Arnold. This was Steven’s first production for Company Theatre and since then he has become very much part of the society, joining the committee, and taking on the role of Treasurer. 

This production was a real crowd pleaser, with full houses. As a bonus for our audience, Steven organised a foyer display, with some of the outstanding quotes from the show, side by side with present day newspaper articles to show that in some areas, society has changed little over the last 100 years, since Oscar Wilde wrote this classic. 

The set for An Ideal Husband was much commented on. The crew created stylized elements that floated above the stage, eg a hanging window frame, a revolving doorway, and a flowing material that symbolized a column - created and sewn by Anne Rimmer and lit by Sam Mence.  The contrasting checkerboard floor was created and painted by Caroline Parker & Tony Sandy. Thank you to our overseer of Company set builds – Phil Davis.  Another highlight were the period costumes created by Cathie Sandy, with sewing help from Gail Carran and Mary Gardner.  Congratulations to all involved, to the actors who brought the words to life, and to the very busy Front of House and Bar teams.  What a great way to start 2014. 

Our middle show was A Shortcut to Happiness, directed by one of our regular directors, Sian Davis.  This was a warm and funny NZ comedy.  Roger Hall cleverly chose a rather unusual place - a Russian Dance Group, which allowed a variety of colourful characters to take to the stage, and entertain us.  This production was close to a sell-out for Company and our audiences loved it.

Thank you to the small production team for this one, including once again, the invaluable help of Phil Davis, Tony Sandy, Fred and Doreen Gould, and Lynne Davis, together with all the members of the committee who contributed as well.  Special mention to Kath Hair who put many hours in training a new lighting designer Bridget Fogarty and a new Lighting operator Stephen Hood.  

I’d like at this point to say how wonderful Kath Hair has been in the new position of Manager of the Rose Centre.  Shortcut was her first show with us after the departure of Richard Parmee. She certainly helps with the smooth running of our shows at The Rose.   

Our third show for 2014 was More Fawlty Towers - with MORE episodes from this hilarious T.V. show and directed again by Kathy Gent.  A cast of 23 and a production crew numbering almost as many and with the end result speaking for itself …full houses and happy punters.  

Two key contributors for this production were Phil Davis and Fred and Doreen Gould.  Not only did Phil manage the overall construction of this multi-level set, but he also Stage Managed every night as well, while Fred and Doreen gave so many hours of voluntary help that the show almost finished Doreen off- she said! Congratulations to Scott Thomas, Stephen Hood, Nadine Hayden and team, Peter Collis, to the members of the committee who played their part and of course to our wonderful actors.  It takes a commitment from many people to bring such a huge show together.

Improvements during 2014  - The Company Room was officially opened on December 7th 2014.  Finally! Three cheers!  Paddy and Brian Stafford Bush cut the ribbon, and there were invited guests, from Company Theatre’s past, as well as the cast and crews of 2014.   It was my pleasure to welcome everyone, followed by a speech on the origins of Company Theatre at The Rose, by Peter Segrove, who wrote the first letter to Council.  We then enjoyed memories from Paddy Stafford-Bush and the story behind her generous donation towards the Company Room.     

Membership - On the people/members side of Company, the idea of FREE Membership, voted at the previous AGM, seems to be working and those interested in an active role in Company, are encouraged to sign up through our website.  We also have an alternative sign up list on the website, known as the EMAIL LIST, for those who just wish to receive our newsletter and advance notice of our productions.  This is at a healthy 692 subscribers.    

Company Theatre continues to do well with the commitment of a hard core of dedicated individuals, who are all getting just a little bit older now!  However the future is bright.  The committee is pleased that in the year ahead we welcome two new directors to support the core.  The 2015 programme is very exciting with 3 different genre productions to look forward to.   

In conclusion, I would like to thank the hard working Committee - Kathy Gent, Steven Arnold,  Linda Camplin, Ruth Chapman, Alastair Fletcher and Graeme Webber.  Thank you to all the Company Members. I feel that 2014 has been a rewarding year for Company and for all who participated. 

 Sherry Ede  (Company Theatre President 2014 ) 

 

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The official opening of The Company Room 
by Paddy and Brian Stafford-Bush
on Sunday December 7th, 2014. 

   

Congratulations to everyone who made The Company Room a reality!
 
And let the rehearsals, celebrations and parties begin!

Above: Some of the many at the opening.

From Left to Right: Fred and Doreen Gould,  Cathie Sandy, Peter Segrove, Ruth Chapman, Paddy Stafford-Bush, Tony Sandy, Sue Golding and Linda Camplin. 

 

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The 2014 AGM reporting on 2013

The 2014 Annual General Meeting for Company Theatre was held on Monday March 10th, at 7.30pm, in the Theatre. 

RE Membership FEE   It was voted at the AGM that membership to Company Theatre for 2014 will be FREE, but you are required to register as a Member online, to meet our Incorporated Society conditions.  We decided we needed to have TWO lists .A MAILING LIST for all those interested in receiving news of our shows, plus a separate ACTIVE MEMBER'S List for those willing to help out with on stage, back stage and Front Of House duties.  

President's Report on the Productions of 2013

By Sherry Ede, President of Company Theatre

2013 began with Calendar Girls, directed by Kathy Gent.  This show had the most audience attendance for a Company Show, on record, with around 2,170 people through the doors.  We did schedule several extra performances that other shows don’t have, which obviously helped account for the larger numbers, but this show was an outstanding success on all levels.

We are proud of the fact that all of our Company shows help raise money for Rotary Soroptomists and Probus Societies, to name our regular - but Calendar Girls also significantly helped the North Shore Hospice, who wrote to us - "We are delighted to inform you that thanks to the generous support of the Calendar Girls production we were able to raise a total of $7,680 for Hospice."  This money came from - the proceeds of one Company donated, sell out, performance;  the profit from our own photographed and produced Calendar Girls 2014 Calendar;  an extra fundraiser through cast member Ann Baxter, and from the donations collected by volunteer Hospice supporters who rattled their tins and circulated the foyer each evening before a show.   Well done to all the actors, production crews, and the busy Front of House teams.  

Our middle show was It’s Just Sex by Jeff Gould, directed by Richard Parmee.  We didn’t know then, that it would be his final show with us! The script and its title, was a bit of a gamble and we weren’t sure how it would be received. It told a story more about the communication issues that couples face, than the “It’s just Sex” of the title, and we had very positive feedback, and one email read: “!....was very impressed with a wonderful production - excellent casting, great staging and brilliant delivery.  My first visit to Company Theatre and if that is the standard delivered it will certainly not be my last.” Well done to Richard Parmee and all the cast and crew involved.  

Our third show was an Irish play, Little Gem, directed by Des Smith. Again, a bit of a gamble as although it received accolades from 2011 productions in Edinburgh, Dublin and New York, we knew our audiences would possibly be small.   We were hopeful the Irish in Auckland would fill the seats, but unfortunately they didn’t all find their way to Belmont, even with the temptation of Guinness on the bar, and live Irish music to welcome them.  The audience that came was enthusiastic.  One email said “…The individual actors were so well cast and did a great job bringing their characters to life. By the end of the show I felt like I knew them well…and they had me laughing and in tears. “    This was the most frequent comment on the professionalism of the small cast of three women, who had a challenging play format, in alternating monologues. This show worked because of a superb cast, and a passionate vision from the Director.  Well done to Des Smith and the cast and crew involved.  

Improvements during 2013

The Mezzanine development, known as The Company Room is ready for the final signing off by council.  It is OPEN TO VIEW after this AGM.   In summary, the total cost, is close to $300,000.  Company Theatre rather amazingly, provided over a third, ie over $100,000, from our accumulated funds. $168,000 came from funding applications to the Council, and various trusts.  Thank you to Richard Parmee, who, as Rose Centre Manager, completed many of those forms.  And I would like to acknowledge two special individual donations. Thank you to Genevieve and Brian Becroft, who donated $6,000 from the Becroft Foundation, towards carpeting, and to Paddy Stafford-Bush for her generous donation of $25,000 that has gone towards the overall completion of the project. There will be an official opening and celebration of our own Company Theatre Rehearsal Room some 22 years after it was first promised in the original building in 1992. 

On the people side of Company, we have added to our base of volunteers for Front of House. This was a priority I set in my last AGM report.   The new “Meet, Greet, Have a Wine and watch the Final Dress Rehearsal” for our volunteers, has been well received.   

The new wardrobe area under the auditorium is progressing, with the sorting (and discarding) of costumes by our fabulous Cathie Sandy, wardrobe Mistress, and her band of helpers. The new properties cupboard is in the capable sorting hands of Fred and Doreen Gould.  Special mention to Phil Davis, for another year of voluntary hours for Company Theatre on set construction, and to Scott Thomas – not just for lighting design for every show in 2013, but the extra effort in training any new young lighting operators we can find eg Sean Miller, for Little Gem.  Training takes time and patience but is so important.  To all the Company volunteers, well done on a successful year.

The small Committee has worked very hard this year.  Thank you to our Vice President, Kathy Gent, Treasurer, Richard Parmee, Secretary Ruth Chapman and committee members Alastair Fletcher, Graeme Webber and the welcome new addition co-opted during the year, Steven Arnold.    

As you all know, this is Richard Parmee’s final Company AGM as treasurer. There will be a few stories and acknowledgements to Richard after this meeting.    

For Company’s records– I would like to note a huge thank you to Richard on behalf of the many people he has worked, acted and directed with, over the past 20 years.  Richard brought amazing energy, enthusiasm, commitment and reliability to Company Theatre. He has helped mature us into the fantastic Theatre group we are today. He is a talented actor, a respected director, a past President, a treasurer, and was competent in all areas of back stage.  We will miss you but wish you well in your next stage of life because as the saying goes, nothing stands still.   Thank you all.  

 

The 2013 AGM - reporting on 2012

The 2013 AGM was held on Monday 18th February 2013 in the Theatre.

President's Report for AGM on the Productions of 2012 by Sherry Ede

Welcome to the Company Theatre AGM. 2012 was an unusual year in that for the first time in our history, we were only able to produce two shows.  The middle production Ding Dong had to be cancelled at the very last minute, due to the withdrawal of the leading man, after a potentially serious arm accident, the week before Pack In.  

As it happened to be my own production, I know there was a huge amount of disappointment - but on the bright side, from a Company Theatre viewpoint, we made more money from the two productions this last year, than we did from the three shows the previous year! So for 2012 – thank you to directors, Kathy Gent for Fawlty Towers in March and Sian Davis for The Mousetrap in November. We will long remember these two productions. Both of them were popular for different reasons and thus offered a good contrast in styles for our patrons. 

We enjoyed the antics of Basil Fawlty and Manuel but also the antics of Mr Paravicini and Mr Christophe Wren– to name just a few. 

Overall the acting in both was superb, the characters so well depicted, and the sets….I think we truly excelled even our own high expectations with the fantastic two level set for Fawlty, and the wonderful atmospheric grey toned manor house recreated for The Mousetrap. 

From design, to costumes, to set construction to lighting and sound – in all areas, these two productions were First Class.  I can’t remember receiving so many emails and phone calls from happy patrons wanting to pass on their thanks to Company Theatre for a great night out.   Congratulations to the cast, the crews and the FOH helpers for the successes of 2012.

Improvements during 2012

Over this last year we have further enhanced our facilities:1.  Firstly with the development of an extra storage area under the auditorium. This is to be primarily for wardrobe - with a very small section for properties.  Over the coming months we will begin the move from storage at the Barracks to this new area. 

2. Secondly, we have sourced more funding to continue the Mezzanine development and it is almost complete! Thank you to The Rose Centre Board for their help in this area.  The final stage will go ahead around the middle of the year.  Finding space to rehearse will be a thing of the past! This deserves an opening ceremony celebration later in the year.

3. Thirdly, our website is increasingly a useful and time saving application for the running of the society.  Our newsletter is more easily prepared and distributed through it, with a professional format, and no postage costs!  Anyone interested in what’s happening at Company Theatre, the website is now the best first step. We have nearly 600 subscribers - who receive an email alert when a new production is about to open. 

In view of the internet era committee feels it is time to update our Membership description that hasn’t changed for about 10 years.  A new motion will be presented to this AGM meeting.

In November this year we celebrated 20 years at The Rose Centre.  Champagne and a wonderful big chocolate cake were enjoyed by invited guests, followed by the opening night of The Mousetrap.  We looked back, to November 1992, our first production in The Rose of Habeas Corpus and it was great to see some of the people from that first production still involved with Company after 20 years! Overall Company Theatre is in a good financial position for the year ahead with another exciting and varied line up for 2013.  

The Committee continues to be very careful in play selection. This is a time consuming job each year.   

We are conscious of trying to involve new people, as this is essential for our growth, whilst also relying on some of the same experienced Company Directors.   We continue to have an excellent base of people dedicated to the contribution they make.  Attention to detail at all levels is one of the reasons for our success.  If there is one area to improve on this year, it is to grow the support base for our FOH. We need many helpers for each performance and need to make sure that participation is enjoyable and rewarding for those volunteering their time.   

Thank you to the small committee of 2012.   We started with ten committee members. Early on in the year Lynne Davis, Phil Davis, Sheila Copus and Linda Camplin all resigned for different personal reasons but on the whole, the remaining six have worked well together.  They were our Vice President, Kathy Gent, our Secretary Ruth Chapman, our Treasurer, Richard Parmee, and committee members Alastair Fletcher and Graeme Webber.

Overall I believe we can be proud of our productions and the high standing we have in the local community.  Our shows are valued not just by our members who participate in them, and the happy patrons who see them, but by many Service and Fundraising groups like Probus and Rotary and Lions, who look with anticipation for our next production - confident it will be worth a visit for themselves - and their group.   In this way Company has helped raise hundreds of dollars for the local community in the last year and we are planning to continue this in 2013. Our first production for the year, Calendar Girls will have a performance with all funds to the North Shore Hospice.  I wish you all good times with COMPANY for the coming year ahead.   

Sherry Ede 
(President 2012)  

Company Theatre celebrates 20 years at The Rose

 

On Friday 9th November, 2012,  a special event took place to mark our 20th year at The Rose Centre. The Rose Centre opened in Belmont in September 1992 and the first Company production, as the resident theatre group, was Habeas Corpus by Alan Bennett in November 1992.   The Rose is now a flourishing Community Centre, Pre-School and fully equipped theatre facility – available for hire to other societies and performers, in between Company’s three major productions a year.  

Members of Company Theatre sit on The Rose Centre Board and help with the running of the Centre as a whole.

  

This special celebration included welcome drinks and nibbles and a cake was cut by Sherry Ede, President of Company Theatre, (left) and Paddy Stafford-Bush, Patron of The Rose Centre (right).

The first performance of the just released, (for amateur rights), classic, murder thriller The Mousetrap, by Agatha Christie was presented by Company Theatre to invited guests.

Above is a photo of Sian Davis, Director of The Mousetrap and Janet Williamson, Set Designer for The Mousetrap.

Other guests included regular users of The Rose Centre, eg The Rose Centre Writer’s Group, The Rose Centre Pre-School staff, representatives from the Auckland City Council, members of other theatre groups who use the facility from time to time, past Presidents and Committee members of Company Theatre, past and present members of The Rose Centre Board, and other people who have contributed to the success of The Rose Centre over the last 20 years. 

 

Some of the special guests were (in photo) Sue Gross, Past President of Company Theatre, Phil Davis in charge of Set Construction and Gary Jenkin, a guest from Mairangi Players.

Thanks were given to the current Manager of The Rose Centre, Richard Parmee, (below) for his input in making The Rose a successful community facility.

 

Alastair Fletcher, barman, and Past President of Company Theatre, welcomes guests.

And then also below is Phyllis Andrews from The Rose Centre Board, helps to welcome the guests. Second from left is Graeme Webber, Company Committee Member, then Brian Stafford-Bush, and on right is Tony Sandy, one of the longest members of Company Theatre (and husband of Cathie Sandy, Company's fabulous Wardrobe Mistress.)

 Supporters and Friends of Company Theatre below.

 

 

The 2012 AGM REPORT - reporting on the shows of 2011

This AGM is a chance to look back on the achievements of 2011 and the road ahead to our 32nd year as a society.  

Our three shows of 2011 had some similar challenges –all had limited casting choices for some characters and all had a bit of a struggle to find enough experienced production helpers for some areas - but we got there in the end and I feel each show continued our high standard of theatre.   Thank you, to our 2011 directors, Karl Buckley, Richard Parmee and Lynne Davis, for the commitment at your respective helms.

There are some members, other than committee, who contributed either to MORE than one production or took on a major role within the society for 2011.  They are Phil Davis, Scott Thomas, Fred and Doreen Gould, Caroline Parker, Nadine Gibson, Kim Pharo, Kath Hair, Gail Carran, Anne Rimmer and Bob and Sheila Stevens and Tony Sandy.  Thank you.

Pride and Prejudice brought a lot of younger members to Company. Although younger people tend to move around between societies, it is important we continue to attract a younger generation by choosing plays that will appeal to them. Our membership is weighted to the older age group and we need to be mindful of the future of Company Theatre.   

Four Flat Whites by Roger Hall, as we hoped and expected, returned the highest audience numbers of the year.  We are always looking for and reading different New Zealand plays to include in our annual selection and Roger Hall is always popular. His insights into aspects of middle-class New Zealand society, attracts a wide section of our local community.

Improbable Fiction, though written by a well known British playwright did not achieve expected audience numbers.  This happens in both amateur and professional circles and is sometimes a mystery!  (We did wonder if the Rugby Cup had affected spending money for some audience.)  

We try to plan for ONE high audience winner a year to cover our financial commitments but out policy is that enjoyment and opportunity for our members is also important.

In Company’s constitution it states that we foster interest in “theatrical, dramatic, and performing arts of all kinds”.  In the middle of the year, committee received a motion from a section of members, now known as The Rose Singers, to pursue the musical side of the creative arts. This group was to be entirely separate in their artistic decisions, but remain under Company Theatre for help with administration. The motion caused some debate and was narrowly passed for a six month affiliation trial. It will be up to the incoming committee to decide how it has worked and what the future holds.    

Over this last year we can feel proud of the advances to attract new members and further enhance our theatre facilities.  

We approved an overhaul of our website. It is now getting a lot of hits and people are signing up to receive our email news every week.   We are looking into a presence on Facebook and perhaps even Twitter!

We have held a couple of club nights this year - a play reading evening and a musical evening. This is the first year for a long time that we have been able to offer something else to our members apart from the major productions.

Company’s relationship with The Rose Centre continues to be a happy one. Our shows bring new people to The Rose. Together we are working towards the completion of the mezzanine- step by step.  Thank you to the members of the Rose Centre Board under the leadership of Sue Golding for making The Rose such a great place to be part of - and thank you to the resourceful, many faceted, cheerful, management skills of Richard Parmee.   Thank you to our Company representatives on the board this year, Alastair Fletcher and Ruth Chapman.

Finally I would like to acknowledge the outgoing 2011 committee. During this past year we have discussed, debated and disagreed at times, but have come together when it counts, for the benefit of the society and our diverse membership.  

Thank you to Lynne Davis, Kathy Gent, Ruth Chapman, Linda Camplin, Richard Parmee, Alastair Fletcher and Graeme Webber. However much time you could afford was appreciated and I hope that each of you has received a personal reward from your involvement, as we are all just volunteers!  

We started this year with 9 on committee but Nicky Gyles had to resign in March, for personal reasons.

It would be good to get back to the 9-strong that is represented in our LOGO – and we can take 10 committee nominations under the constitution.  

There have been some good memories of the past year but now onwards and upwards to 2012 as new theatrical highs are already underway.

Sherry Ede

President 2011

 

 

NEWS FLASH!

October 2012

*NEWS FLASH* Company Theatre has the rights to present Calendar Girls by Tim Firth. 

Based on the true story of eleven WI members who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for the Leukaemia Research Fund, Calendar Girls is the fastest selling play in British theatre history.Huge interest in Calendar Girls! 

Below is an article that appeared in the Sunday Herald, August 19th 2012. PLEASE NOTE The girls in the photo are not all in the final casting that is now complete. They just helped out with this photo shoot for the Herald.  For details of FINAL CASTING, see CALENDAR GIRLS page.

Jill Chamberlain, Claire Wingfield, Sue Golding, Liz Brown, Julie Collis, Jan Judson and Julia Brannigan. Photo Anne Rimmer

Article below by Russell Blackstock

Hundreds of everyday Kiwi women are showing plenty of naked ambition to join a world record bid.The release of the amateur rights to perform the hit play Calendar Girls has sparked unprecedented interest from theatre groups around the country."It is the biggest response we've ever had to a production," says Bill Griffith, from the Play Bureau in New Plymouth, which licenses the show in New Zealand. "We've been deluged with applications from Dargaville to Balclutha and everywhere in between."

Such is the worldwide demand to stage the play that the release window has been extended from 12 to 18 months.Rival theatre companies overseas have even been fighting over putting it on at the same venues. The producers want to establish a world record for the most productions of one play and donate a percentage of the box office to leukaemia and lymphoma research. Thirty New Zealand groups have so far applied to stage the play.

Calendar Girls is based on the true story of a group of Yorkshirewomen who, in 1999, posed naked for a calendar in aid of charity after the death of one of their husbands from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. A 2003 film version starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters made almost US$100 million. Among the first to strut their stuff in New Zealand will be the brave women cast in a production on Auckland's North Shore. The Company Theatre group in Belmont is auditioning for 10 women - and four blokes - for an extended run of Calendar Girls at the Rose Centre, starting in April next year.

A few enthusiasts got together this week over some cupcakes from local cafe Little & Friday. Director Kathy Gent is in no doubt about what she is looking for at the auditions in two months: "Women of 40-plus with some stage experience and who don't need to have figures like supermodels."Oh, and not being too shy would certainly be an advantage."


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